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Unclcn^rouiul 

Exploration 

and Testing 
at 

Yucca Mountain 



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Uiulcri^roiiiul 
E.xplorcitlon 
and Testing 

Clt 

Yucca Mountain 



. \ Report t(f Cofi'^f'i'ss 

unci 

the Si'crdciry ol Ijut'^v 



Nuclear Wii.stc Technical Review Board 
October PW 



NWTRB - UndcrignNind Explorolion and TcMing 



Nuclear Waste Technical Re\ie\\ Board 



Dr. .|(ihii K. Canlldii. ( hairiiiaii 

Muhitittn Sliilf UniifiMly. Liiitritu\ 

Dr. ( hucmc K. Alkii 

Calijorniii InMilulc nj lfihm>lf>Ky, Emeritus 

Dr. (iarrN \). Hrtwtr 
University oj Muluaan 

Dr. Iul\\ar(l .1. C()r(linj» 

University oJ Illinois at Urhtina-Chtint/Hiign 

Dr. Patrick A. DoiiK-nico 
Texas AdM University 

Dr. Donald Laii^imiir 

ColoraJii SchtM)! of Mines 

Dr. John J. McKclla, Jr. 

University of Texas at AiiMin. IJntriius 

Dr. D. NNariicr North 

Decision f-m ti\. //»< . Moiintiiin View. California 

Dr. Dennis L. Trice 

V'iryiniii fulvtirhnii InMiiiifr antl Slate University 

Dr. Kllis D. \ crink, Jr. 

University o/ floruhi. I nuiiius 



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NWTRB - Undcrgruund Expluniiiim and Testing 



Ijst of / igures 



Figure I — SchcniaMc roiulcfinv: »>f major i:c»)loj;ic units and \cnical fault 
/t)ncs at the ^'iicca Mountain site 

Figure 2 — Cutaway schematic rendering of Yucca Mountain geologic 
hlivk sh»»uing currently proposed evpU)rator> tunneling 
ami |"H>ssihle liKalion ot ^ep*lsltor^ 



Figua* 3 — Currently proposed core test area 



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Thi* irinwl i» Ihc oghlh in a <cnc% of rcpiwt* b> Ihc Nuclear Wa»>c TevhnKal Rcmc* B<ianl Rcpi*l» are a\ ailaNc 
from Ihc Oa\«fnincf« l"nntin(; Oflkr. WaUimjtIim. I) C". or fmm iJk B.Mrid\ ofTtct m Ariinglim. Vii^pinia 



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riHlcr{;ri>uiiil cxploratum and lodng arc iiujor C(>iitp»iK'ni> o| ilic IX>|-.\ %iic 
char.i«.u-ri/alit>ii cllorls al Yucca MiHinlain. Nc\aiLi t hiring* i\u: \\i^i Iihji \caf\. 
Ihc lX)l-.\ plans tur cvpUiralion and icstin^ in an undcf^round lacililx hj\c 
evolved ^uh^lan(lall\ . and nun> inipriAcuK'nls ha\c hcx-n niadc n>c IX)|-.s 
cunrnl prugrant in\nl\cs cMcnM\c tunneling ihrtHigltoul ihc f;c«>logic bUKi. at 
Yucca Mountain ■ ■' •'• • goal ol gaining \isual access to llvr complex get»log> ji 
the site ltises(v>. jHtrtant lothoroughls undersLmd lite vhai.it. to and evtent 

ot the laults that cross the site, as well as the site's h\drogctiU»g\ and getuheinisirv 
Once tunnels ha\e heene\ca\ated. scientists alM>\^ill be ahle to initiate inipt»rtant 
tests, v\hich are necess.ir\ to assess how the natural and engineered haniers uill 
pertonn under conditions similar to those in a potential rcixsitorv Itir IhK spent 
fuel and high-level waste Data gathered dunng these tests will he used to evaluate 
site suitahilitv, to predict long term perttumaiKc ol the entire rci>«sit«»rv svstein. 
and to support a license application should the site pro\e suitable 

In this rep«>n. the Board re\ lew s the status ol the undergrtHjnd expl«>r3tion arxl 
testing program In addition to a number o! detailed reconui>endaiions. tt>e litvard 
mak.es three general revomiiK'ndalions. which arc reviewed lvl«»w IIk BtMid 
would like to emphasize that all revoinmendations can and sIkhjUI be implenK-nlexl 
without slowing the nh>n)entum ol imi'Htrtant site char jclen/ation jcli\ilies ik»w 
under wav at Yucca Mountain 



The BtKird coiKurN with the overall «ib|ccli\es e>labli\hcd bv the IX )|- fur 
urklergrouml exploration ami testing al YiKca M«Hinlain arxl su(->p«Hls manv of the 
changes that ha\c been nude to tf>e ilcsign ol tl>e lawilitv However, the Bturd 
rrnuins cofKemcd lh.il. because of pasi dclav s in initialing uiHlcrgnHjnd ciphtn- 
lion arul allempis to compl\ with t«veriv «ip(imislic schedules, the IX)h is nvaking 
imponant technical ilccisions ab«Hit ihc ilcsign arnl appn»,Kh to excavation of the 
exploratorv LkiIiIv wiifxHit sullicieni analvsis S^.fK'dules have been coniprrvscd. 
arnl until recently ihc IX )i-: h.kl planned l«x mulliple excavation opcralicms from 
a single p«Hlal ainl simultanonis testing m:U\ Hies, w hich the Board belleve^ would 
have cxterulcd. rather th,in shoflened. pnigram s*. IkxIuIcs ainJ increased c«»Ms The 
BtMrd suppt»ns iIk" IX)| 's recent ikxision lonnnJifv this appnvach bv eliminating 
competing activities dunng excavali«Hi of iIk initial undergnnind Unup ()ncc ihis 
pi>rtal to p«>rlal loi>p K.is been completcxi. tunneling off ifK loop lo fault /ones, in 
the core test area, and in the C'aJico Mills can begin, arnl important testing initialed 

The B«Mrd believes, however, thai ifK Yucca Mountain pm)ecl lacks an overall 
sirategv for exphxalion arnl lesiing To belter .*.hieve the objectives of Ihc 
undergnHirkl cxpltnalion and testing program, ihc lUnmi mnmmriuU thai ihc 
tX^E develop a ct*mprthrn%i\c i/nr/rcv ihttt inlcfiratrt ctplnratum and icMing 
pnontir\ mth ihc dcufn and cuauuunt appnxich for ihc exploratory fafilil\ 



NWTRB - UndcfKiound Expluraiion and Testing 



This sirulcgy should be based on specific intenncdialc goals and be consisieni 
with the scientific prionlies of site characten/ation, realistic lunding evpectations. 
and the efficient dc\elopmcnt ot the underground e\plorator> taciliiN . With such 
a strategy, the IK)I: could siinplilN what is sull an j)\erdesigned tacililN. which 
includes excessive test support lacilities and utilities. 

rherinal testing should be an iini'H)rtant com[xtncnl in an> comprehensi\e 
strategy lor exploration and testing at Yucca Mountain. The IhHtrd rectmunends 
the resumptiim of uiuUt}' round llunnal /rv/i/iv as sinm as ptnsihlc. Since testing 
in the core lest area is not scheduled to begin until early IWS. the IX)l-; should 
consider reiniliating undcrgrouiul theniKil testing t>ulMde the rep«»sHi)ry area. This 
will allow the IX)H to establish a continuous testing program (or thede\elopment 
ot instmmentation and procedures and to gain as much testing experience as 
possible pniir to initiating testing in the core test area. 

The Board believes that the excavation ot the explorator> facilits could be 
acc«>mplishcd more quickK and at less cost if the tunnels and supj^orl facilities 
were designed i>ni\ Ui meet the needs ol exploration and testing lor example, 
after the portal-to-porlal KH)p has been completed, excavation of tunnels off the 
Uk)p and in the core test aa*a can K*gin using a 16- to I S-ft -diameter tunnel Kmng 
machine. The design of the core test area, where critical thermal testing will be 
conducted, should be simplified t»> allow exca\alion using a full-face tunnel Umng 
machine. Although extensive tunneling is required, the IX)H should continue to 
reduce the extent of surface and subsurface facililies ami utilities to reflect the 
revised sequential excavation plan and the specific needs of the explor.iti.>n .md 
testing program. 

If the ^'ucca Mountain site pnnes suitable and is licensed lor constniction. 
the exploralon. laciiilv is lo Ix* mtcgr.iled into the re|"K>siior\ design rherelore. 
the design of the exploratorx facility should a*main as compatible as i>ossiblc with 
j-H>tential rei-K'sitop. designs. The I)()l-"s axent prop»is.il to reduce tunnel gradi- 
ents in the expl»>ralor\ lacilitN makes ii more ctMnpalibIc with existing repository 
designs 



I he Ho.iril recogni/esthecom|i|ex regul.itor\ .mil i<\crsij:hl consii.imis l.uiiig 
the I'.S. high-level waste progiam and the challenges inherent in managing such 
a hirge. first -of-a-kind scientific and engineenng pn>jtvt. However, the B»>ard 
believes that a wealth of industn. expertise and experience exists fn>m which the 
IX )l- could draw moa* eftecii\elN To assist pr»>gram managers and to lake 
maximum advantage «»f existing experience in the underground ct^nsiruction 
industrx . the Htntrd rccomnwnds thai — as is common practice on large construc- 
tu)n pn»|ects — ihf DOI i-stahli\li a ncoenginccnnf! IhHird with expertise in the 



rntiintfrmg, lonUnntmn. aiulnumiii-rmrniiif Uir\it- unJrrjiirfintJf'n'jft i\ Mcin 
bcrs should be iKilionalls kiunsn aiul ihcif sclrclion h.ivcd nu |>.ivi cvjvucikc 
NCfMii^ DM Minil.tf h»ufds l»»r pfujccts «>l <.t)iniiKti\uralc «.oin|>lc\it\ Ihis ^cucn 
ginccnng bKurd would nK-cl with Vu\.v,a Mounuun iiun.i(:cn»cn(. vijll. aiul ».tnv 
tnKi»>rN on a rc);ular b.isi> to rc\ icu detailed devisit>ns »-(/f/\ i»« when il>e\ Atv 
tirM beinj; made and to pro\ ide puidan^e on iinpro\ inj; tlie nuna^entenl ol the 
design and evcavation «il the exploraton !.t«.ilil\ 

An It stated in Us March IW^ Spt-i uil Htf*i>rt, the o\cfall ci\ili.ui waste 
nunat^enient pn)grain is lar^e and ditluse. and s|X'i. ilk res|Hinsihilitiesafe un«.leaf 
Ihc Hoard finds this ti» be true as well at the ^ u«.ca Mi»untain projext level I. sen 
though site chanK'teri/aliitn at ^ ucca Mountain is not a routitte construction 
pr»»jeet. the IX)l- should place j:reater emphasis on ilevelt'pinj: a nHKe ellicient 
s\sten) lor managing the e\plorati)r\ tacilUN desn;n and ctmstruclion In ):eiK-ral. 
decisions do not reflect tspical indusir\ practice its ci>nir.Kts do ihK iiKhide 
irKenti\es lor mmuni/mg c»»\ts and irnvtinj: schedules, arnl the IX )|- has c«»n 
Ir.icled h>r its own tunnel bonni; m.Khine. rather than lM>lding the contrjcliH 
rcsp*»nsible tor selecting; and purchasing its own ec{uipn>ent 

r'tnall). nun> institutions, includinf; Congress. ha\c exprcNsoJ the coiKCin 
that adisprop«>rlionale share of tiK* funding available tor tlte nation' snucle.ir waste 
nunageuKMil program is fving directed to o\erlK-ad and mftastrut.lurr Hie lioard 
IS ciMxenied thiit this is lea\ing limitai funds for important scientific wori. 
including underground exploration and testing |-of example. receniU \Uc IK)!- 
cited lunding. ratlier than technical grmuHls. as a p»*ssible reas<»n to forgo e\ca 
\alion of the ('alici« Hills unit And funding chtMces nu> affect when impt«nanl 
urniergnHirHi thernul testing will be reiniliatetl. or when the contractor will begin 
.K'quisiiion of another tunnel boring nuichiiK IIk iiowud strt»ngl\ supports the 
Secretar> «>f l-.rKrg\s decision to nrxiew the finaiKial aspects of the civilian 
r.Klioaclivc waste nuiugcnKnl pmgraiit aiKl ht^ftev that this review will lead to a 
nn'ifv efficient and ct»sl -effective exploration aixl testing pn»gram 



Inuaduction 



iilroJik'lion 



I'hc NikIcu \Sa\ic Icvhnual Kcvicw Btuxd <lf»c Htwiidi was crcilciJ in ihc 
Nuclear NSaNic I'oIkn AiiHriKJincnixAcI**! IMK7 A>an irKk*{viulcnla{;ciK> \kilhin 
the c\cv. uti\c hfaiKh. the H<>.ud in charged uilh cvalualiiij: iIk* N<icnti(k and 
Icvhnical a>pcviN ol i\k l>c|\iftincnl i>l liHrrgSN )lX)|.t pro^'rain l«< iuaiia);c tl»c 
diNp(»al ot ihc nalii>n'> sficnl niKlcar fuel and high- lc\cl defence uasle The Kiurd 
refH»rtN iIn rindinj;N and rc».t»nuiKrndaiionNU»(\>nj:rc\N and ihc Secrclar\ ol l-.ncfg\ 
at lca>t tvsKC c.Kh \car 

Since Us iiKeptuMi in l'>S*>. iIkt H»>.ird \\.i\ lolloped cli*^:!) the cll«»riN o! the 
[X)l Olfice t»t CiMJian KailitKKtive \Va\te Mana^*CM>ent ((K'RNS'Mi In dcM}:n 
and iinpiciiienl this pri>grain ('hara«.tcri/alu>n and assesMitent <>l iIk: site at ^ ut.\.a 
Mttuntain. Nevada, lor its suitabilii\ lor de\eK»ping a permanent rcp»»Mli>r\ Kk 
this waste IS a nuji>r coin|)oncni <>l the IK)i.\ program If the site at Yucca 
Mountain is found suitable and is licensed b> iIk* Nuclear Regulators Commission 
f«ir re|>»sitor}> dcvelopnK*nt. a complex o| luniK'N M<Hild Ix" excaxalcti in tl»e 
mountain 

r«> iiclermine the suitabilit\ of tlur site and gat)>er the data ncce\sar> to design 
the prop»>sed rep*>sitorN. the IX)| must underlake an c\tcnsi\e program of 
surf.Ke-Kiscd and underground e\plt»ralu»n ami testing Surf.KcKascd AtiMties 
hase been under wa) at the site lor mhik- tiim* l*rcparaHons lor utulergr<Hind 
e\ploratu>n and testing h.i\ e just begun lliesc undergrotind acti\ Hicn juc tfK main 
ftvus o\ this rep«>rt 



NWTRB - Underground ExpkmtlitHi and Testing 



Backi^rouiid 



In March IW3. ihc Bi)aril published a SihuuiI Kt-pun (SW]R\i. Maah I W3mo 
ihe Congress and the Socrciary of Energy. Thai rcp«>ri ouihned thav critical 
concerns that have atiecled Ihe technical components of the IX)l:'s civilian 
radioactne waste manajienienl pr»)i!rani: (1) the projiranis o\erlN optiniisiic 
schedules; (2) the need for a well- integrated overall waste inanaiiement plan thai 
includes iransfHmalion. storage, and disposal of radioactive wastes; and (.^» the 
effecli\eness of proi;ram inanaL'enient These issues have affected the pmyrain 
mfrull. but the schedule and inanageineni issues raised in that re{x»rt also ha\e 
affected silc-characten/ation efforts — especially the IX)I:'s approach to under- 
ground exploration and testing at >ucca Mountain. 

L'nderground exploration and testing will require extensive tunneling' lhn>ugh 
the mountain at various levels and across all geologic units to allow scientists to 
visuallv examine the complex geologv at the site It is especially important to 
detemiine the character and extent of the faults that cross the site' and to gain an 
understanding of the site's coniplex hydrogeologv and geiKhemistry . Once the 
tunnels have been excavated, they will host an underground exploratory facility 
fn»m which further testing will take place. 

Excavating the undergn>und exploratory facility, designated the exploratt»r> 
studies facility, is an imp«»rtant milestone in the IX)l-'s waste management 
program because it is kev to achieving a number o\ other intemiediate pri>gram 
goals. |-or example, if there aa* anv "fatal flaw s." or major disqualifv ing features 
that might lead to abandoning the site, thev will most likelv K* a'vealed thn>ugh 
the excavation of expK>raton. tunnels In adilition. t>nce the expU>rati>rv facilitv 
has been excavated, scientists will be able to initiate im|'H>nant m situ tests, such 
as themial tests, which are necessary to evaluate how the natural geologic and 
engineered barriers actually will perfonn under conditmns similar to those in a 
|'M)tential re["K)siiorv once waste has been emplaced Data gathea'd diinng these 
tests will Ix' used to determine site suilabililv. to predict long-term |XTl«)nnance 
of the entire repository system, and tt> suppi>rt application for the construction 
license should the site prove suitable. 

The exploratory facility also has the potential to btvome moa* than just a 
ItK'ation for underground testing. If the site is judged suitable and is licensed for 
repository c(»nsiniction. major parts of the exploratorv facilitv could be integrated 
inl«> the recHtsiiory rheret«>re. the ilesign of the exploratorv facililv sluuild be 
compatible with any (potential a'l^osnory designs 

1 ' . trot In a« an un(lrr|;n>und c««MnK-1i<tn ar1itil> thai rrNulls in a pcnnancnl (arilil) 
lhi« cnnira«t« wiiti mining, which i« Ihr pmccxs <«l extracting mineral (kpmii\ (nmi the rarth 

2 1' ' XtiHintain tend tn he iKai 

\ . • . 1 ng 



The iicM);n and apprtk.K.h lo c\ca\alin^ itic cxpior jlor\ Ijc'iIiIn hj\c c\ol\cd 
\uh>lanli.ill\ during t\\c past Unit scars, aiul much pruj;rcss h.is Ivcn mlmIc IXinn^* 
ihc la>l sc\cral n>«tiith>, ifhr l)<)| and il> vonlraLliifs ha\c |H<>|>»scil a iiuinhcr «>l 
.Kidilioiul changes lt>r lunttcr impnncn»enis Hovscvcr. ilw Htwid is cunccmcd 
thai, hcvausc i>t (Visi dclass in inilialint.' uiuicrground cxpltuation and Ihc (i\c(l> 
(ipdinisiic s<.tHrdulcs. iin|>>nanl Icvhnical dcvisiunN aNnil lite design and excaxa 
Imn i)l the e\pl<>raltir\ lacihl> mc hcing nude uiiIhhiI sullicieni let.hnical and 
s<ien(itic analysis ol siic-ch.ira«.leri/a(ii>n issues 

This repori reMevss i\yc status til the lX)|-.'s undergnnind e\pli*r;ili(>n artd 
testing project at Yucca Mountain. Nevada, it suggests strategics to inipnisc b«Kh 
l\\c exploration and testing program and lite appro^Kh to designing and excavating 
the cxplorator> I.k.iIiI\ Dh: Btuird makes several rcvommeiulations it tvlieves 
will sjved progress and improve cost eltectiveness \}k Hoard believes il»e 
changes it is rccomiiK'nding can and slnnild he nvhle u iih<HJl slow ing the iihtiiKn 
turn ot imporlant siie-chara«.teri/ation aslivilics currcnlh unilcr v^a) at Yucca 
Mountain 



ctpttTTittTf* K» rN>*f t ami tlufi< m thr ipntcTu... i- - ^k rrp^ikivs <ifKr;tttmn arr^ Ut«ll he kx-MoJ 
«hm <lMft« an f4jtmt\i fiv imtrrcnivad r«aM> craitfnKtKW and cycnt»m " 



NWTRB - UmJcrgfuund Expluniliun and Testing 



Exploration and Testing — Dcsigninii and 
Exca\aling the Exploratory Faeility 



According lo a IX)H prcscnlalion lo ihc Board on April 22. 1 9*^3. ihc undcrgn>und 
exploration and IcnIhij: proi:rain has a niiniK"r of kcN ohiccli\cs includuig yath- 
cnni: otherwise iinohtamahlc data on the major geologic teatures (units, laults. 
and contacts) throughout the mountain; gaining access Iti the underground so thai 
various in-situ large-scale themial. hsdrologic. and mechanical icsis can be 
initialed: and allow ing a continuous. earl> KH)k at the natural s\ stem to assess sik* 
suilahiiit\ and provide critical data lor rei"K>sitop. deMi:n 

The Board concurs with these general ohjcctivcs. And. in the tollowing 
discussion oilers suggestions tor developing an imprj>\ed strategy tor under- 
ground fxploratidii and /<\///;v at the 'N'ucca Mountain sne^ that is caretulls linked 
li> the design and approach lo excavating the underground exploraton. t'acilily. 



Stralc^ii's Jifr llxplitration and Tistiiiii 

The l)()I!'s plans lor exploration anil testing ha\e changed during the past 
tour years, and much progress has been made. Recently, several changes ha\e 
been proposed to further improve the program. Because the IX)H*s cunvnt plans 
and sequence for exploration and testing are still evolving, the Board would like 
to use this report to outline what it believes would be key elements in a comprc- 
hensne strategy lor exploration and testing. 



l-xpliirv (icrnw ihv i;inliii;ic hiink 

Since Us tirst meetings m I^^S^). the Board has emphasized the imp*>rtance of 
gaining early access to the underground at ^'ucca Mt>untain by excavating tunnels 
across manir geologic teatures .it the site. I'he geologv ot the site should be 
explored and tests conducted not only in the welded tulf *■ at the a'p«»silory level 
but also in the nonw elded tuff above and below the a*posiior> level 



A\ UNcO hcvc. rii>li>ruliim «>f a mIc nK.ins r\i J\alin|; luni»cl\ u . cw (iK rrlalivcly 

\h<ii1 Icnii nhvnalinn* «>( geologic ».urKlii>'>"^ '- >■'■"■ nn .m-. . r irtin «* irniiln 

r\pcnmcni« in ihc cxcaxainl iunncl\ 

' i\ a KKlk 1 .ivli ll i« rillK"! Mclitnl 

i : •'■urc. aiHl 1^ 1 nlinj! mmrriK m nooui ■> nU lo 

he hard and highly fraclured. Nonwckkd lufT i% u<4iall> purnuv and often irlaincl) v>li 



Euikiniiaa and Jc%un$ Siniic«ic« 



\!.in> i>l Uk j;c«>li»gic Icaluro in iJk- bltKl. Muh .is laulls aiul IlkUhcs. .uc 
ncu Ncrtical (sec \i\niiv I ) As a rcvuh. %uft.KC kiscd dulliHK' and nuin>i"»: »'" 
pruMiic onI> lunilcxl inl«>niulu»n nn these sirxKdifcs I \wavaJinj; *.ccss ramps 
(inclined tunnels I ami rh»n/i»nlal tunnels <dnfls» Atms these features 1% the t»«l> 
way tt> gain an .Kcuratc picture ol tJ»eir ».haf.n.tcr aiwl extent 

Ihe e\pltKali»rN I.Kilit> ileMjjn that rcMilted Iruni the I \pK»fali»r> Studies 
IsKiht) Allernitises Slud> iSNl IWI i fcllcvt> this apjHiuKh toexpliHati.m and 
icstini; lunncling ai and nhnt the rcp«»Mti>r> le\el and in iht I olu » Hilh unit 
below the rcp«'Mtnr> uill alK>« pf«»j;rain jx-rvinnel to \isuall> examine and iiup 
fault /ones, fractures, ainl j«Mnt sets m the nhninlain AcctHiIingU . any slialcgy 
for c\plt>nnj: and textinj; sIhhiUI incluile tl>e f«>lli»»inp puis 



lij;uic 1 S».iK,iiutUv u-iuU-im^ ul auij.'J fic-'h-^u UI1H^ 
/i>fies it '^'■' ^"'' ' \f.»iifif nil sill* •■ ..'f 



.Jllil ■• tl I 1^ .11 1 .luu 



> «. > * VCwaUM 







NWTRB - Underground ExplonilitHi and Testing 



I. The IX)F: should first explore ihc major jicologic features (abo\c and at 
(he rei'tosiiorN level) h\ e\».a\.ilmj.' (he ponal-to-portal l«H)p ("v l-ij;ure 2l. Plans 
ti»r (he lirst phase ol underiirouiid exploration call lor e\ea\ating a ramp trom the 
north portal down through the nonw elded tulTahove the repositor>. and through 
the Imhncale l-ault /one before reaching the rept»sitor\ le\el in the Topt»pah 
Spring welded tuff The tunnel vvill then priveed across the Topopah Spnng unit, 
crossing the (ihosi Dance laull at two places, in the central jxirtion ol the geologic 
bl(K'k and again at the south end of the bItKk. where the fault has a greater vertical 
tiffsct. F-a>m thea*. e\ca\ ation pnveeds up the soulh ramp to the south portal This 
rir>t e\ca\ atu»n sequence, w hich divs not include e\ca\ atii>n o! an\ i>ther tunnels, 
is referred to in this report as the piiruil-to-porial loop. 

During c\c.i\.iiioiuil the i>oii.tl-iii poii.il loop. [kkIkiI u.iici and seepage ma\ 
be observed and sampled. Ih'wever. (he »)nl\ (ests that should be undertaken 
during the excavation of the |-K)rtal-to-portal lixip would K* to gather initial data 
on hvdrologic properties across fault /ones. To do this, nearhon/ontal b«>reholes 
will be drilled. Ihev should Iv planned so that drilling can be conducted withi>ut 
intemiplmg the advance i>f the tunnel boring machine.'' No other delays to 
machine operation slmuld be allow ed unless they arc to gather critical, repository - 
relevant scientific data that Wi>uld later K- unrecoverable .Alter the p*>rtal-to-p«>rtal 
l»H>p has Iven excavated, tunnels can be excavated east .iiul west to |X'neiraie (he 
imbricate l"ault and Solitario Canytin I-ault /ones. 

Acconling to the IX)I{. limited c«ia' will be t;iken Imm the undergrxnind l>>nngs. 
Cotv will Ix- drilled as s«M>n as |x»ssible after the lault /one is excav.ited llie intent is 
to gain ;K.vess t«) the lx»a*hole as stxm as pt>ssible to axJuce the eflect of air exch;mge 
with the sumninding air mass Sensitive (em|XT.itua' iiKMsua-nK-nts made in the 
boa'lu)les will be us<,\l to indicate water nu)vement in the laull /one 

The USF- .'Mternatives Study (SNL l*WI ) calls for the tunnel boring machine 
to cioss the Ghost Dance lault /one at an oblique angle. Often, taulls aa" n«>t 
present as single surfaces but occur in /ones comprising a series of individual lault 
planes as well as regions of fractured, crushed, and altered nvk. Rtvcnt surface 
mapping has inilicated. for example. tha( the (ihosi Dance l-ault /i>ne at 'Nucca 
Mountain mav be as wide as I. (KM) ft. Intersecting it at a small angle during 
excavation of the portal-tt)-|xirtal l«x)p could mean tunneling through extensive 
lengths t»f the /one. w hich ctnild cause scrums sup|x>rt problems and slow machine 
advance. 

'fh\ tv li» mminl Ihp itnll np Mtrf »iipf><>»1 r»|uipmrnl <m a pIsif.nTii that hrnl)?r* Ihc 



••PC- 



\\ u«cil laihcr iIvmi niWicr iirctl v^hiclo 



Euiioraiiaii and Toaiiii Siraiefie% 



I'igurc 1 - L ulaua> M.-(>cnutK rcrkk-ritti; ol t ikcj Ntounlain iicniogic MiulW \tHiMin): «.urTcnll\ |>i«i(v>scil 
c\pU>rult>n lurinclint; ami [xivsiblc ttvatuMi nl rcj'«»Ml«>n in.-/;.- uu/n 



HotT' •'wtll 



•m^~ir !'»*.» 




run 



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t .■ . K.iA 



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S«iunx PrcMmuiKin lo ihc N^TRB. S<r«fmNrr l»-l«. IWI RERGBV!S p i:< WfcTRB^HVIo <»l iRSN l<W|i 



NWTRB - UiMlenround Expluraiion and Testing 



At the Board's July IW3 mcolinj;. the IX)l: proposed several changes to the 
desiun ol the c\pli>nitor\ !;icilil> : one calls tor realijininj! the mam tunnel so that 
It parallels the (ihost Dance laull. Sh»»rt. smaller diameter tunnels would later K* 
excavated off the mam tunnel lo allow penetration and evploralion ol the (ihost 
Dance l-'ault at several pomts. This realignment could pa)\ ide additional l1e\ihilit\ 
l«» the exploration and lesiini! program and reduce the risks nomuills asstviatctl 
with excavating large tunnels through lault /i»nes. However, since there ma) be 
sccondarx' faults adjacent it) the pnmarx Cihost Dance Fault /one. llexibility in 
Uvating the main drift will be necessary so thai it divs not run along a soci>ndary 
fault (It may not be possible to av»)id more closels spaced fractures that parallel 
the faults I. 

2. Tlie DO!-, should continue to thoroughK anal\/e the advantages and 
disadvantages of exploring m the Calico Hills. The Calico Hills consists of 
nonw elded luff located K'K)w the repiisitory level. Because the Calico Hills unit 
is a fH)lenliaI harrier to the transport of radionuclides from the a'p»tsitory dow n lo 
the regional gr«>und w ater table, it is necessary tt» understand thoroughly the nature 
of lomling and faulting at this le\el. 

Based on the results of ihc lApK>ralor\ Siuilics I acilit\ Altcrnatises Stud\ 
and the Calici* Hills Kisk/Beneflt Analssis (^MI'O 1 Wl i. ihc 1K)|- concluded in 
IWl that earh access to the Calico Hills wmild provide a net K'nefit when 
considering ( I ) p*>ssible poslclosua* risks. (2) the degax* of scientific confidence 
in lesimg. i}) the i^otenlial for regulatory dela\. (4» \ariali«>ns in program cost, 
and (.*>) the polenlial for phasing the tests, hxamimng the characteristics of ihe 
same fault /ones directly hclow the rei^ntsiiory level in the Calico Hills w ill pro\ ide 
valuable infonnatiiMi on the flow of gn>und water through the unsaturated /one 
of Yucca Mountain.'' As at the re|"H>sHory level, addilutnal east-west dnfts would 
beexca\ateil oil the mam tunnel through the Calico Hills to allow a full east-west 
traverse of the major north-soulh taMuling featurvs. 

kecenll). the l)()l. has meniioncd budget constraints as a |x»ssible a"as«»n to 
forgo exploration across the blotk KMow the rep»>sitor\ hon/on in the Calico Hills 
The Board stronglv K'lieves that any decision to forgo exploration t»f the Calico 
Hills using tunneling sht>uld be based t>n a thorough scientific and technical 
anaksis t)f siie-characlen/ation issues. 



Faulling jihI (racUinni; in Ihc Calico HilU unil i\ likely lo t<r mtKh (tidrtmt fmni thai in the urlklcd 
lullx of Ihc Tofxipah Sprini; (i c . ihc rrpi>Mtor> Icvch hci.au«c (Ik Mckksl lufl\ arc hantcr and possibly 
highly Iracltirol in ihc laull /ones. Mhctras miA nonwclilcil tufts arc not as highly Irailurcd and may 
oftcr rrdiK-ftl Inktiirr pcrnicahilils along faults 

Tt> he ahle to csaliule Ihc nature ol faults al Jiffcrml Icsel* it wtnild he Jesirabic to cxsasair i».iii.ku 
of the tunnel in the Calico Mills unit (iiicicily hcln« the portal to- portal kiop 



EHilaniiicNi and Tcmiqc s < 



Initiule tt\ting 

I he IH)|'n c\pK)rulor> Idcilil) tlcsign cuncniK lalU luc ihc c\ca\jiiiH) t»l 
c\icnM\c icsiin)! .ucas sn thai mulliplr. simulurtctHis icvliii); can he condtKlnl 
loiinj; lacililiCN iikIuJc 2^ Icxi aico\c\ in ihc n^H^h ramp. 2\ icsl ako\c^ in 0»c 
M»uth ramp. 44 icsl alcoves in the C'alic«» Hills ramps arul l«>«»p. an "allcrnali\c 
shall" Ihat exleiuls from ll>e rej^»sHnr\ le\el li> ll»e surlace. and a core lesi mcjl 
consisting of 8,4()0 led ol luniKl containing nuiiKtous alcoves and supjxm 
Licilities ' 

A recent IX)| test planning package lYMFH). Seplemher IW2i delines 42 
testing acliMlies. which will he conducted within the c\pK>ralt>ni facility The 42 
testing activities can he grouped intt» Imir categories exploration « 16 teMsi. 
theniul 1 5 tests!. h\droge»)logN/get»chemisir> ( 12 tests i. ami. ge«>nKxhanical/en 
gineenng iw tests) Although the Hturd helie\cs the plan is a g«M»d one. it feels 
that the t.icilit> design and leM supp»»n arc nK»fe complex than rtt{uired f<»r a 
wellprionti/ed arul sevjuential testing program Man\ of these testing .wtiMlies 
could he comhir>ed or caaied out sequentiallv ITiis might allow a simplificatuHi 
«>l the core test area arul. pcrhiips. of the exploratory facility (sec discussion 
heginmng i\ige I7> |n the following discussion. S4»ii»e appnvachcs are suggested 
that ci>uld nuikc tlic testing pri>gram niorc efficient 

1 ixplttralion IcnI during excaxatiitn A numhcr of testing aclixities could 
he conducted while excavating iIk tunnels arul drifts ITiesc inchule nupping the 
ge»)logy. collecting vimples ol perched water if cnci>untercd. c«»lle».ting nvk 
va^lple^; evaluating excavation mclhtids. monitonng grouiHl support systems, 
monitoring drift stahiliiy. aixi determining the hydrol«»gK properties of maj4«r 
faults As mMcd prcvunislv. h«»wcver. testing dunng excavation of tf»e p<»rtalto- 
portal l«^>p should he limited tif avoid interrupting the .MlvaiKe of the tunnel horing 
iiuchine 

2 Thermal testing reinitiate undcrgnnirKl testing as S4*r>n as pitssihic A 
signiTicanl issue currentlv facing the Yucca Mtnintain project is determining the 
mo>t appropriate thermal loatling fiK a repository '" Since IWl . a strong rationale 
h,is evolved f«»r tfie argunw-nt that Ifiemul effects will he llx- main cause of vapor 
and water flow in a repository, no nutter wK.it tiKrmal |it.Kiing ultimatelv is 
ch<tsen The ralHmale is hasexl t>n models thai are Kicked hy limited data ohtaincd 
fn>ni (t-Tunnel thermal testing The (i-Tunr>el thermal te^s were c<tnducted over 

R««nl cm At I wr ciwntriKtana «n«i r«tiiiHK fr* ihc ct(4rrj*i«s rjkilitt iRSS |9«:i 

in Tkfrm^ k'nJmt rrffn In thr ttnevM <4 tnpt »r->*l w»*ic rnn>litol per acre <4 tfynt^kcry are* Hip hrr 
^"•*»r« cauri* hfffart rn*rnMrr« U 'r iycmii i v v aliKii m*» hcif <*n»r mnntorr *•»> frrmi ma^ie 
pMh'kJcr^ Ihic *hKh itu-» thn nukt fmjKttnm ot laa(t-*rnn rcpnPMfcws (actfrvnuatcr mnnc diffKvM 



NWTRB - Underground Explonilkm and TcMing 



a ninc-niDnth pcriiKl in welded luff al Rainier Mesa. Ne\ada Test Site. Tests 

consisted of a sini:le healer siimil.ilinj; /i<»n:<'/f/»;/ borehole eniplaLenieni of a small 
waste packajie (an allematne lo the \ertical K>rehole ci)nLepi then lavoa'd). 
Because no additional tesiinj: has been ct)nducted since the G-Tunnel efft)rt was 
tenninated in h^S^. these data, which are \er> limited in scope. proNide the onl\ 
underjiround ihennal test data a\aiiable to the proiiram 

Because of this four-year hiatus in underga>und thermal testing, the pn>gram 
currenth lacks sufficienl Held testing e\perience. pros en instrumentation for 
underground testing, and a well-de\eloped testing strateg\ . The present 1X)E 
plans call for thermal testing to be conducted in the core test area i>ff the mam 
tunnel of the p«)rtal-to-p*mal l«K»p. Unfortunately, a recent IX)I: schedule shows 
the reinitiation o\ thermal testing in the core test area has continued to slip dunng 
the last Id months. Irom November |W(iu>earlN IWSdX)!-; I^^>3) I ndergrtuind 
themial testing should be reinitiated as stxin as possible. The Board believes that 
it is critical to develop instnimentaiu>n and priKcdures and gain as much testing 
experience as possible pnnrio initiating testing in tlK* c»hv test ;uxm. IIk litviril pUiLX^s 
high pnont\ tui uiKk-rsiiuiding tlK etVe«.t.s of tiKTmal loading i>n a |xi(auial a-jxisitiTV 
tlmnigh a<v«i///H///iv pn>gnuii ot llKTm;il testing." 

.■\n overall testing strateg) presented to the Board by the IX)h in Julv as an 
"ideal" approach calls for at least three years of prt)totype underground theniial 
testing (outside of the repository bUvk). This would be folli>wed b\ testing in the 
core test area consisting of two or more years of test planning, ten sears*)! testing, 
and one-and-a-hall >ears «»f anal\sis and data reductu)n. All underground test 
configurations wnuld be designed tt> simulate the anticipated rep«>sUory configu- 
ration." 

Several proposals for reinitiating pnUotspe underground theniial testing have 
been presented to the B«>ard. At a Board meeting on the exploratory facility in 
Novemlx-r !*)')2. the DOI- rcMCwetl the .idvantages of de\eloping an in-siiu 
prolot>|v thermal test lacililN at Busted Butte (several miles south-east of ^ucca 
Mountain in an t>utcropping of Topopah Spnng welded tuffl. At the July 1993 
Board meeting in lX-n\er. the IX)I-; made a sir»>ng case for initiating a large 
heated-bUvk test, which was referred to as an "oil block protot\|X' in situ ihennal 



1 1 In-Mlu heater tea* of MiirKicni *i/e lo inclutie K-alinj: an«l hcicn>i5cncii> ctTccl* art ncnlcd to icM 

f ' ; .... .. I . _- 1 . ;t(cc» two nccdv. Uvirt lo 

11. and Itmg duration (i.e., 
.Su u> ^(11 )ca(i>lk> pto^ikk (KiloiiiuiKC umlimuluiji iWilJci 1'^.'*) 

12 IbKi 

I ^ Ihitl ()nc (.tmliguraiion \»tiuld make u** ot 21-5 5 Kw heaiets in itirec parallel dnttv MmulXing 
rrpi>uUir> wavir cmplaLemrni Jn(U 



Expluniiaa ami Tc«iinc SinNccttfi^ 



ICNl "'^ Iliis plan in\ol\cs tullinj; a 10 ii h\ |(Mi b\ 15 It hUKk ihjI «>I mcKIciI 
lull. inNtalliii^ Stealers and inslruntcniaiuin. and iniliatinj; icxlint; ihal utHjId 
continue lor five ti> NC\cn \cm\ One disail\anla{;c «il this opdon is t)>c data 
obtained Mould he ol limited \alue )vvau\e a \.u^c hl«k i\ a piHH rrpfrMrnlation 
ol a piMenlial rcpi»Mtor\ ' ' 

Cii\en the potential lor continuing; dela> \ in the ctmstruction t>f ttte exploi ator\ 
lacilit) — and .wcess l«> ll>c core test area de\elopn»enl «»l a priMoivpe 
undert;round testing l.u.'ilit> (tHilside lite core test uicjH nu\ prove to he a \er\ 
lintel) and cost-ellecti\e invesliitent. and ctnild reduce itte ur^teiK) oi raxl> 
excavation oi the ct>rc test aa-a 

V H\droj:e»>loi;ic/>:e»vl>einistr\ tcstin); begin as soon as pitssihle Sexen 
ol ihe tuehe planned hNdrologN/getviteniistrN tests div pan of the unsaluraled- 
/or>e percolation lest plan In its test prionti/alion studies. ll>e IX )|-, has rclcned 
to these tests as having high prionls i^MI'O. November l'W2> The IX)| plans 
to conduct titesc tests in alcoves thriKigluuit itK* exploraltfrv lacilits to evaluate 
Huid and gas l1ov% in geologic units, between units, and .Kri>ss nu)or and mint»r 
structures ( laults. j«tints, betiding plaiK partings i TIhtsc tests should be started as 
stum as p»«ssible but should iu>t inlertcre with tfk- .kivaiKe of the tunnel b«»ring 
nuK.hine during the excavation «»l the jv»rialt«» portal loop Merc again, perhaps 
tests ciHJId be earned tuit from dnil plalfonns that bndge the travelvkay behind 
the luniKl bi>nng nuchine so as not to dclav excavati«>n 

4 (ic«>nKxhaiucal/engir>ecnng testing - perform dunng excavation Much 
of the needed data on ambient nvk charactenstics an*J ge^mMxhanical pfx>pcriies 
can be gathered thr«High uellplanned iiupping arnJ construction n>«»niti>nng 
a«.tiv ities corulucted Jiinm: excavation The mtnements and nKxhanical stabiliix 
oi openings can be nnmilored dunng excavalKtn using multipi^ition exicnN«»rtK- 
lerN How ihemul tit.idings wilt affect tf>e nxxhanical prx^perties oi the r\xk can 
be iieterminevl as an .kkl on to \hc ifKnnal testing neetied to evaluate the h>dn>- 
logic profvrties of the h«>sl rock 



li tb^ 

1 * TN" B«>ar\l 4«"> « *» *t ■>< • 
tmimi |«ir« ir>tt«c BtxkU « 



|«*»<» T>> -■ n-* tKm hrvfcrf <« Iht <■ 



NWTRB - Undernound ExpkmiiHin and TcMing 



Establish exploratitm and testing strategies, priorities, and gitals 

rhc DOl: Nhi>uld dcvclt>p a lomprehensive strategy fi>r c\plt>ration and 
testing. The current rc\i>ed plans for conducting sequential exploration and 
testing. althi>ugh much impm\t'd, are still CNoKing. The plans appear to reflect 
s*>me degree ol general pnonli/atii>n; howe\er. m> detailed divuinentation has 
been nude a\ ailable to the Bturd that identifies either specillc pnonlies oi a basis 
fi>rany pnonti/ation. This lack of a comprehensive testing strateg) is rcfltvted in 
the current ct>niple\ design of the underground facilits. uhich cimtains cxcesM\e 
test support facilities and utilities. Specific milesii>nes for e\ca\atii>n and testing 
shi>uld be established. The sequence fore\pk)ration and testing in the explorator\ 
facility should be i>rgani/ed an>und specific iniemKHliate giwls and should be 
ci»nsistenl with scientific needs, realistic funding expectations, and the efficient 
management o\ the exca\alu>n o\ the underground exploratory tacilitN 

Continuous ree\aluatii>n oi the exploration and testing program as the final 
design of the explorali>r> facililN progresses uill panide the oppt>rtunit> to fine 
tune the program, lor example, the IX )1: should consider a-Kvating stinu.* tests 
presentlx planned for the surface -based dniling program to dnil sites within the 
exploratory facilil\ Tunneling prmules the opportumlx toltvatethei iical 

faults, which ha\e a strong and lival effect on the hydri>log\ and :;. . . ucal 
properties t>f the nvk. \Mien a fault is cn>ssed. sampling can be undertaken acn>ss 
the fault and at known distances from it. The resulting data can be better a'lated 
to the existing features. In some cases, this ci>uld offer an advantage t>\er dniling 
l»>ng dnilholes from the surtace In addition. gi\en the sUm dniling rate oi the 
LM-.^(K) deep dry conng drill and the long drill lengths requin.*d when drilling 
from the surlace. shifting appropnate tests ti> the underground could speed 
program progress and reduce cosLs."' 



Conclusions 

1 l-.xplonng acn'Jss the geologic block to gather the data necessary for an 
earls determination of the site's suilabilitx forrep«>siior\ de\elopment is of highest 
pnoritN l-.xploration shtuild K* conducted acn>ss the site above, at. and beUm the 
repositor) level Tunnels should intersext anticipated major faults and an> major 
unknown structures passing thn>ugh the nrpository bUvk so that typical in-siiu 
conditions in the key geologic units (including fax^uency of fractuntrsi can be 

C\ .llll.llcil 



. r Nned dniling {w tyi n fnir«cr% drilling afiptntinulrU 44) hnio In «lepth% of I..V)0 
to JJUUU n llic lirM hole. UZ-16. wliich i* l.Mtt It dcrp- >>«^ m* mntlh« Indnll 



DMfa ami Eu-a^iMioa Sinicfie% 



2 I'lKlcrgrnuiHl ihcmul tcMint* \houKI be icinilialcd as mhmi as p»»ssiMc rhc 
IX )| needs (o iimJcrstand tin- cMccts ..I hc.it on a p«»ccinial rciv.NH..f> ihfiHi^'h «l»c 
CNlahlishfJKrni «'f a tontintu'iis ICNiinjr pr»»j;fam Hixausc t>l {\\c l«HJf seal hialus in 
uiKlcrgnnintl tficnnal tcsiin^* and iJh- pi>ssihilu\ lor continuing' dcla>s in the 
cxcaxalion of the c\pl«»rali»r> (iKilils . the ik:Ncl«»pn>cm nf an i»tl site ufkicf j;r«Kjnd 
IcM racilits has merit Such a locilits als»i could reduce the urj-erK) of eail> 
cxcaxation ol the core test area 

3 Souk dnllnti; and testing presently planned lor the surt-we Kascd pfoj.Main 
could he .Kcoinplished better (or nmre ecoimnucalls » Iroin dnll sites \Mlhin the 
cxpU'rator) lacilit) 

4 The program I;k.Ws a t,>m(H,hrn\i\f Mrtiiti:\ f««r exploration and testing 
that IS Kiscd on estabhslK-d intenm-diate giuils and is consistent n* ith the s,. icntilic 
lurcds ol site characieri/ation. realistic funding e\pectaliot;s. and the efficient 
manageiiK-nt »>l the e\ca>ati«ni of the undergnnind f.Kilit> Although gnralK 
impro\ed. the current evploration and testing pn>gram sh«»uld contain specific 
milestones and pru>nties tor exploration and testing in tin* expl.Kat.KX l.Kilit> 

S7n//(i,'/Vs for Dtui^n and l-xcuvat'utn »[ tfu f'vplonitory t'aciUtx 

The design of the underground facililx and tin- IX)|,s excavation apprxvich 
have evohcd subslantialls dunng the past f<Hir \earN At tiK B«urds jul> 1W\ 
meeting, the IX)I presented the nH»st recent pn»p«»sed vh.inges to its vurrent 
exploratory f.Kilit> design The H*».ird belic\es that several ol the pf..p.»sevl vJesign 
changes (eg . reducing tunnel gnidienisi offer impnneincnis «ncf the prcMoos 
dcMgn St>mc «if t»K changes being ciMisuleml mjuirr further e\aluatmn (e g 
I -V* the p«»rtal to p.inal l«^>p. f«»r example, at what distance should the 

t p»»rtal loop p.ifallcl the (;h<»sl Dance I ault 'i 

The B«»ard winild like ti» take this ..ppoftunitx to bncfl> rcMCu Mrategio H 
believes will further impr\»%e the IX)l"s ..urrenl explt»rati>r> facilitv design and 
speed the undergnniml excavation an«l tesiing pn»gram Alth<HJgh the f«.lli»vMng 
discussmn acklrevses the «>nginal baseluK- plan, rcventiv pf»»p«»scd changes to the 
current iJcMgn alv» .. " " ^sed where appr»»pnate The H.wird suggests that the 
IX)F ciHisider the : 'g op<i<»ns during excavatuMi of the umJergrrHiml 

expioraioT) facility 



NWTRB - Underground Expltmuiun and Testing 



Delay compvtin^ excavation activities until completion of the portal-to-portal 

hntp 

The faslcM. most economical e\ca\ alion of ihc 26.(KK)-fi-long ptmaI-to-pt>nal 
liH>p from the north portal through the mam tunnel to the M>uth pt»rtal \Miuld be 
to priKCcil sMlhoiit c»>m[X"tinL' siimillaneous e\ca\alit>n activitiCN Irom the same 
portal. Multiple e\ca\alion activities Irom a sinjile portal \mII intertere \Mth the 
advance rate of the tunnel boriny machine. Interruptions to machine oivralion 
should «inly be allowed il the need arises to gather cntical. a'positi>r\-rele\ant 
scientific data that would later be unrecmerahle. .Mter the machine has transited 
from the north to south portals (an operation that should lake aK)ut 12 months I. 
access WDuld be available from the south ptmal for excavating alcoves and 
turnouts and to bt'gin earl\ testing acin ities. At the same time. acli\ ilies support- 
ing excavation ol the e\pU>rator\ lacilit\. such as mucking.' Ci>uld Ix* continued 
Irtim the ni)rth |-K>rtal. The Board strongl> suppt>rts the IX)I:s recent pro|X>sal to 
drive the ptmal-lo-fH)rtal l(H)p without interrupting the advance of the tunnel 
btiring machine. 

After completing ihe portal-to-ptirtal ltK)p. excavation of additional east-west 
tunnels, as well as iho core lest area, can begin using a smaller tunnel b<»ring 
machine. Driving a tunnel west to the .Si^litario Canyon F-'ault /t>ne is high priontv 
because it would complete a lull east-wesi traverse of the major north-s»>ulh 
trending features. Also high priority is excavation through the Calico Hills unit 
directly below the pro|-H>sed re|>osiion, hori/on. To K* able to evaluate the nature 
of faults at dillerent levels it would be desirable to excavate |x>rtionsof the tunnel 
in ihe Calico Mills unit directly below the portal -to-p<mal Kx»p. Access to the 
Calico Hills could be obtained from the north-south ramps (see Figun.' 2 » or from 
a separate surtace portal Creating a separate [-Kirtal offers the advantage of 
reducing the numlvr ol activities taking place oil the |X)rtal-to-|x»rtal l«H)p and 
reducing the pt>ssibility of adversely affecting the repository operational aa*a. A 
separate portal also might allow excavation of the Calico Hills unit to be carried 
out as earlv as lundine will alU>w. 



I \e rail to \iipporl tunnel horinf; machine operation 

The Board recommends the use t»f rail, rather than rubber tircd vehicles, to 
supi'tort tunnel boring machine oivrations. The use of rail to transport people and 
materials in and out ol the tunnel is more efficient and cost-effective Rail will 



17 The rcnn»al nf all cuatalrti nuk imiKlo will he unilcrlalcn uving » ohivcvct. wtiivh will lranvp<in 
llv r\ia\alnl nxli <nil Ittmujth Itic miitti punal ("onscNCt njXTalioo* should Ik «k\<i««l cntircU U> iIk 
suppml •'( the tunnel N>nn(: itvuhinc until oMnplciion o( the portallo-piiflal timp 



Drxien Mil l-.u-a\«iiiM Siraicf;ic% 



grcallN reduce ihc ptUciUial lor imri>du».inj; (ictfi'Icuin pnnlutU inlo the uihIct 
grouiul Kail liriCN can he laul nuukls on c\«.a\alcil liinnci |1.«.kn %Mlhoul lunl»ci 
IliHir preparalion. and rail will allow a wider \cnlilaiion area and make it ea*icf 
lo hack up ihc lunnel horing machine duno): c\ca\alion ol alco\ex I irulK. rail 
lrunN|x»rt utlers itu: safest nkrans ol c«>nirollint; il>e nn»\cinenl ol pc.»ple inu> aikl 
\Mlhin an urulercriHind lacilil) In addition, the use ol rail ^'cncralU rcvjuircs a 
smaller ojxrrational area ( 7hN -711 rather the I :-h> I Ml levjuircd h> ruhhcr lirctl 
vehicles |Spcrr> I W3| ». uhich w ill alU»s* a hhuc cllicicnt use ol the lunncI vpa^e 
This >pace c»uild K- used, lor evamplc. lo install plallorms that hndjrc iIk rail Irom 
which testinj: and dnllini; «»perations ctuild he earned out durini: excavation ol 
the jxinal to p*»rtal Uh>p without intemiptinj: the advaiwe i»l the lunncI K»nng 
machiiK lliis could alUm earl\ initiation i»l im|>. .riant h>droj:c«ilt»gic testing 
.icliMlies while a-ducinj; the r ' ■ ol alcoves that will he neetJeil 

Ilie use ol conventional rail suppt»n lor tunnel h..rin^' machiiK opcrati«»n 
a-quircs relalivelv llat gradients aUmc the lcnv.Mhs ot the tunnel ' I)urin>: Hk JuIv 
|W^ B«Mrd nKelinj:. the IX )l. presented pri>f»sals to reduce iIk relativelv steep 
gr.Klients in the haseline plan I"he Board supports the IK)| s ilecisuHi to lower 
the gradients along the ramps and main tunnel t»> 2 ft percent .h less, which allows 
Ihc use of convcnlu>nal rail transp*.n dunng e\pl»>rati>rv fai^ililv consiriKiion 

Keeping the gradients al.>ng the tunnels relalivelv rial o»cr> an additional 
advantage Duniig recent months, interest has mcrcasoil in emplating large, 
sell shielding waste packages in repository tunnels iin dnfl emplacenKnti \n 
c\pl»>rau>rv LkiIiIv with steep gradients cHild torn lost the use of c<*nventi«»nal 
rail in a rcp»iMtorv If in dnit empl.KeiiKnt pnnes to he ihe prefcrTrd straicgv. 
rcposilorv gradients slunild he llat. aiul iIk option of rail transpi^ to haul the large 
waste packages shouUI he nuintained 

Fjccavitte \mallfr diamelrr lunnrh nutudr the futnalmporlal /«h./» 

The portal lop»^rtal Uiop. which will he advained wHh«Hil c«>m|x-ting c\».ava 
tion jctiviucs. will he excavated with a 25 ft diaiiKler luniKl honng m*.hine llic 
IX )| plans to excavate nil "ihcr lunnrl* uiHlikling th<^se excavated off the 
pixtal u> p»Htal lo«»p» using smaller luniK-l hi»nng m-xhino. '" There arc sound 



m nwt*««hnr(4«iitXir. l«Mv •• rcsttorl • l«WI at a trwk -^ t- 
|<l»^ i «K-«« *ifr ' -.»«-« ilw BMW nr«th «i» «i««l» ir«T *■ . 

m Ihc -^h r««ta; I V ■ imWnt* jrt hw .torr Urn ttt »*« r4 4r«%<rttr«»»l tj.1 
|0 n^ mtwtrt *« tw»«U <• the **»r»h«»« CjU^ IWh InrmjfM. m the «u .r- rtj***^ *-»tU 
m the »«*r icM area, mimtmr, ^rtt^pt irUi^F '«oh»> 



NWTRB - Undcreround Expkwution and Tc\iing 



technical, cost, and schedule reasons wh> excavating smaller tunnels outside the 
p«)rlal-lo-portal hntp is preterahle. Smaller diameter tunnels are more stable 
siaicturalh. particularl) \Uien excaxalnii: in laull /ones. I 'sing a smaller machine 
outside the portal-to-portal Unip \aiII be more efficient and more cost-cffcvtive 
because smaller diameter tunnel boring machines ad\ ance faster through n>ck/^' 
can be moved more rapidl> Irom point to jxunt. and can be used more elficientlv 
to excavate intersections, [•inally. the smaller the tunnels, the easier the> are to 
backfill il they cannot be integrated into a potential a"pt)sitor>. 

The Board supports the lX)l:*s decision to use a smaller machine outside the 
portal-to-portal liH)p. However, the I)()l: must plan novk for the start of additional 
tunnels vv ith at least one. perhaps ivvd. smaller tunnel boring machines. According 
ti» the l)( )|-. schedule ( I)( )l-. I W.^ i, the new 25-lt machine should begin excav ation 
olthe p«)rtal-to-portal Kh)p in Julv IW4. Based on indusirv standards and the I )()l-. 
decision to excavate ponal to portal without interruption, excavation ol the 
porl.il-lo-|>ortal l«H)p should take no more than .ipproximaieK 12 months If this 
schedule is met. the contractor should have the smaller tunnel K>ring machine on 
site ready to begin excavation by July \W5. 

The Board is concerned that possible delays in acquinng a smaller machine 
could tuilher delav the sue-characleri/atmn program Because ol these [■nitenlial 
delay.s and because of budget constraints in the program, the Board suggests that 
the D()|- let the contractor acquire all future machines (ei|uipment should K* 
owned bv the contractor). A number of options are available for obtaining a 
machine at much lower costs in much less time than was required lor the IK)I\ io 
purchase the new 25-t'l machine.-' For example, the contractor could rent, oi 
possihlv purchase, a used machine tor use on the pr»>jecl 



2t> tnduKlry cxpcnriKC iltirin); Ihr \a\\ (cw ycM\ intlicalr% iImi minimum ovrrjll athaixr t. 

Uiiiri. Iiii>' v(i, Mil.l tun .ihiHil Km II per utxkinj! dav l<if a 2^ (I maihinc anj \1*< II pcf «. i .., ...x li» 
.1 in iIk v»clJcd luff oflfK' Ti>pi>f>ah Spnnp l<>nrw>lii<n Kairs in llv viflci rxtnwrlilcd 

itiii .1 II n > .int.. llilU fimiulKm (tw a 16- Ii> IK ll maihinr vhiHiltl avcrafrc I7.S (| pn >la\ 
(°(>nMnKli<>n n\i« and ilcla>N initcasc uiih incrrasctl lunnrl m/c and invludc dclavv lo ini4all 



IDC 

i.ilK in 



h 

O/iicmir I'M I I 



!l Ir 



< thai 

■ n 



N- iuniicl ak Kaimct McMt. Nc«mU. liN u«c ol ncathy ^ iKva Mnunuin 



Dottn md E»e»\mon Sumepe^ 



I \e a tunnel honn^ maclunr to rxiitvatr ihr core tr\t arra 

Ibc core icsl area uill he \\\c KkuIhki »>I cnlical inlcniKtliaic AnA lonp icnii 
Jhcrnul Icslin^' ri> ina\imi/c the ahiliis «»• c\tra|>i>Ialc icM icxuliv li» icpi»MU»r\ 
M.alc, this icstinj: NhiUild be canicJ mil iiiulcr londiiions ih.ii annuviiiutc as 
«• w<. //\ «jt /NM w/>/c- the coiulilions in a p»»lcnlial f c|v»siti»r> . \s tiK h will tv c\«, a\ atcJ 

UMn^ a tunnel K>nni: machine •- liuler the present ik-Mjin. t»K ».«»re test area is 
sen complex (see I igurc 3) It contains nun> r«HHns ami alcoves, a number ol 
which ha\e been deMj;natetl lor use as offices. sti»re ro..ms. sb«»ps. and uare 
hi>uses Its current configuratum contains man> rijrhl angle inlersevtums making 
excavation with a tunnel b«»nng machine im(M)ssiblc ITk W«»ard revt»mn»eiHls that 
the core test area he simplitied t«> allow excavation using a tull lace tunnel bi»ring 
m.whme that is cap,ible «>f a small turning radius \ko\es planned l.u .Rinities 
other than Ihennal Icsling slunild k- miiumi/ed I se ol drill and blast techiH«log> 
or other cquipnwnt. such as a mobile miner or «»iher high risk tevhmWogies. vhotild 
he avoided.'' 



Ktdiue and simplify uirfaic and \iih\urfmr facililirs and uhlitirs 

Plans for surf;Ke and subsurface facilities and utilities have mH been modified 
sufl'icientlv to relied the rev ived excavation plan, thev still rcflevt h» a Luge degree 
the extensive support necess,ir> l«>r nuduptr operations fn»m tl>e van>c p«Klal and 
umuluint.H,^ testing * M the rivcnt norlh ramp 'Ml percent design review, the 
Bo.ird learTKd that the muck convevor svsiem is still being dcMgiKd to vupporl 
multiple excavation operations from the viiih: p.»nal as well as dnil ami blast 
operations durmg the excavation of the portal to p..nal I.H>p Now that the IK)I 
has tieculed U» tielav competing ex^avalion .Ktivities until after completing the 
pi>rtal to p..nal l«H.p and to use smaller lunnel biKing machii>cs ftH all «nhcr 



rv«|iH>T«J •*!» Ibf jw^»«*»l tn"**'"* »*** *• <'«f"«^ l.>»kn( ,.«««>.■<«« thj« mx rrp»T*f««Ji" f <^ 
pn^aiwsl nrf«'Hili«S in«fclK»T«r« 
:» ?•«> upufKJW v.-^rr-, »- '»»- ~»,f*-^'.. .^ h-«<-l ^Mx »! Ifir c\\ert c4 (tfctawt n< tt«;l 

tMhJtft hcM tt*r 

m the •*ll nxk m^^U **«> Nc ••fnirxjrth tMexni »n dniiie( ttti fwurop 



«. matte *«KT 



v.-wTnwTi<ol «» line •>«'*■•■>*« I"* «*!»''•*' 
TV >.«*r k-«i jrr* <r«uo*» » fv^<ct \>it'iUMtrn. ».-• 



NWTRB - Underground ExpUiraiion and TcMing 



Fipua* 3 — Currenlly pn)pt>scd core lest area (plan mcm) 



InlcgralcU 
data \\ \lrni 

Scqucnlial 
Jrill mining' 
ami hcjtnl 
worn ie\U 



IBM 

ctrvtioii 

chanihrt 

Kcfugc - 
area 



Drill l» 
Inihncalc laull 

tRcp«>Mlnr> htin/iio ncar-ficlJ 
fVa..lali.>n icM •'\^'"<"K'- pnipcn.o icM 

Bulk pcnncahilil> 
Thcmul slrrsv IcM and 
_.*' _ . h\dn>chciniar> teu% 

^^— — 



Mratnl bkick lc%l 



^icr wale 
.CI IcU 




111 lev! 

Hl«inr MihMalioo 



T«> (Vinh 
piiflal 



^ 






etKOK 

ircvv IcM 



I V1..1W1I1011 _ , rt- -^^ 
and olliccx 

flh-v Iv !rsl 



Too 



IVfvoiation icu 
- DilTuMtm icM 



X 



-llWft 
USmi 



Hull pcrmcahilil) 
..._;iii.hcnii^l'\ Irki^ 

I'uclinf! arr.i 

bc^' — 



IHwIal 10 P>»nal 
I.«<i»p 



i»j II 
■(2l3ni)" 



Vnifvc 1»«»J.. ^Ms» {• Ink I /v. 

i>t.i«iiu- \,. v^1^^;^ :aii\(, m 



sin. VoJ .«. i)rxign l)cawin(:«. Scp»cttil»ct .'. ("Wl. 



DeUin Md Ewavttion Sracfick 



c\c;i\ulitm. the undcrpnumil uiilus rc\juircn>cniN a»c imi Utn^ct ncciJcd Pht) 
vhould be rcduccil li» rctlccl the rcviscJ sct|ucnli.il c\pU»faln»n afkJ ic^linj; pci» 
jjrum 

Portal ilc^cUtpiHcnl and surl;icc facilmo alM> should he simplilicd lo irllcvi 
the rcquirciiK-nis ol the revised prujirain \l\c hoard sironj:l> supiMKis tlw |)<)| s 
revcnl devision to eliiiunato the steel arch (v.ftal cvlcnsion m the n«»rth jxKtal aiul 
sugirestN i>ther simpliluations. such as ihc use ol iem|»orar\ surface suj>|^il 
lacilitieN. to vi\e iinmeN and speed proj;raiii pri»j:ress 

Ihveloppowthle rtpitulon de\i^n\ in lonjumtion wilh the cvahuiti cxplitralnry 
facility design 

As n»entioi>ed above, if the site at Yucca MtHJiitain pn»vcs suitable aiul is 
licensed b> the Nuclear Regulatory Conuiiission lor repository c»»nstru*.tion. the 
e\plorator> facility would probablv beconn- an intejiral \\u\ of the rei*»silt»r> 
Althou5:h e\tensi\e tunnelinj: will be required, the c\plorat.>r\ faolitv sh*Hild be 
no larj:er than necessary lot exploration ami testing At iIk s,uik- lin»e. (^Kential 
rej>>Mtor> prcluninary designs nuist be developed in t on/iuu inm with the final 
design of tlie exploratory f.Kilit> 

possible options for a rcp«»sitory design were presented to the B»Mrd bv the 
|X)i: in l')*)t) and again reventiv One design iiKliuJed a multilevel rep«>sHitry with 
flat gradient (near h«»n/ontali tunnels at e.Kh level I"his ilesign w.mld allow the 
use t>f conventional rail dunng tin: vonstr\ictionof the pr.>p»»scd reposittny as well 
.ks during rep««Mt*»rv t»peration As alreadv iiKnti.»ned. this »^if>n is becimiing 
m«»rc attr.Ktive as interest gn»ws in the use oi large, self shielding, drift empl.Ketl 
waste p,K.UgeN The current change in the e\ploralor> facility fr\»«n steep l«> flat 
gr;Hlicnls IS coinp.mble with a multilevel reptv.ii.>ry design 



Conctuiions 

I The D<)ls current plan !•♦ advance the tunnel Kmng ni.xhine thnmgh the 
portal to portal U^op at the rep.»sit«»rv level fr^mi the n«»flh to the vnith portal 
witlxHit interruption from c.>nipe1ing excavation or testing «»pcrations is stn»nglv 
supp^xted by the B«Mrd This is noi onlv the mr*\t cfOcicnt and c*»M -effective 
c«>nstrxKlion appnvKh, but it als«i will allow earlieM access to major gc«<lf»pic 
features ami provide .Kcevs to the exploratory facility fmm brKh the n«Mlh and 
v.>uth p»>rtals Assuming t^l) minimal iJclays. this transit can be accomplished in 
appn^xinvately I2m«>nths. 



NWTRB - Underaround ExpUwaiion and Testing 



2. The use of rail, rather than rubber lircd vehicles, is ihe mosi elTicienl and 
cost-effective way to suprH>rt tunnel bt)nng machine operations. Rail will allow 
inoa* efficient use of tunnel sfRice. 

3. Plans aa* not set under way to acquia* additional smaller diameter tunnel 
K»ring machines for excavatinj: tunnels t)ff the ponal-to-fH)rtal Ux^p and in the 
core test area. Possible dela\s in acquinne smaller machines c«>uld further dela> 
the site characteri/ation projjram. 

4. The surface and subsurface facilities and utilities still ha\e not been 
sufficienth reduced to rellect recent project changes. Once that has K-en accom- 
plished, the site-characteri/alion projiram can priKeed more quickly and at 
reduced costs. 

.*>. Ctmditions in the core test area, the site o\ critical intermediate- and 
long-term thermal testing, should approximate a.s pa*cisely as possible conditions 
that will be" present in a potential repositorv. Excavating the coa* test area using 
a full-face tunnel boring machine, rather than using drill-and-blast techniques or 
»»ther high-risk excavation technologies, will create the necessary condituMis. 



Ricoiuimndatiinis 

The lioard makes the following avommendations. 

fii'ctninntiulation\ fur ixploration anil itslint; 

1. Ixplore across the blotk to access the m.i|oi geologic Icatiircs. m.iin ot 
which are near vertical and north-south trending Ihese lealures should Iv 
exploa'd above, at. and belou the repository level. Any changes to this plan should 
result from sound analysis of site-characleri/ation issues. 

2. The IX)I- should reinitiate its undergnnind ihennal testing pnigram as sixm 
as possible to allow the development of insimmeniation and paKedua*s and to 
gain as much testing e\|x*nence as (-Hissible ftriar to initiating lesiing in the coa* 
test area (in en the |'H»leniial lor contiiuiing program delass including delavs 
in excavating the coa* test area — development of an undergnnind testing facility 
(outside the core test area) may pnive very timelv and cost-effective. 



3. h\i>liitg plan> shi»uld tx: c\|uiuicJ Ui (MudiKC a i<»fti>rthrn\t\r Mtulrgy 
tor cxpKiraliiHi and (cslin); PrutriliCN ami ^hmK \h«Hjlil he Kiscti <ki xixxiI'k 
intcriiK-Jialc ^kiU ami tx: c«>i)msIciiI mkIi lt>c wiciililu nccils nl mIc chaiak. 
Icn/alion ami uiih realistic lunvlin^' c\|Vv.lali«>nN U\c >lralcg> s)t«HilJ irllixt an 
in(C(:ratii>i) t>t c\plt>rulii>n ami (cMing pruinlicx uilh cit'uicnl cxcavalittn ol the 
uiitJcrgriHiml lacililN based more on curTciu pr.it.'tucs m ihc umicrgrouiHi construe 
lion l^cluslr^ 



RecinnmiitiUiUnns Jar Jt \ii;n ami txmvaluni 

1 Ihc LX)|-.s plan loc\ca\alc all liinncls nthct than ll>c |>ortal t«» portal lot»p 
usinc smaller liinnol bonni: machines is a g«HKl one Howcxcr. considering: tlie 
schedule lor ihe portal locKirtal Uh>p. plans iiuisl Ix- made nmy in .Ki{utre at least 
one snullcr tunnel bonng nuichine so that excavation ot otlK*r lunrK-ls can hc};in 
as stH»n as the fx»rtal to pt)rlal Kx>p has hccn completed Hie constnictum contrac 
lor. rather ihan the IK )i.. \hould \^rile the specific ations lor and purchase its oun 
iiLKhines based on iIk* needs of the pr«»jecl 

2 .Surface and subsurface facilities and utilities sj)<nild continue to he simpli 
fied It) reflect the ncv, excavation sccjueme. as part «>l Ihis ellort. iIk* ci»rc test mv-a 
also should be simplified sttihal ilcan hecxcavaled usinj: a full face IuiukI honng 
nuichine 



NWTRB - Undcrsruund Expluniliun and TcMing 



Management at the Pn^jeet Le\el 



The Board a'cogni/cs the complex regulator) and o\en.ight conslrainis facing the 
IS high-lcM'l waste inanaiieiiient program in general and thcv.ha!lenges inherent 
in managing this large scienlific and enjiineenng project in particular. HovKCNer. 
most of the construction activities a'quired to develop the exploratorv facility arc 
well within the evpenence of the underground construction industrv.-'' Tunnel 
support and excavation conditions are not particularl\ extreme as compaa*d to 
t)ther underground pr»)jects. and technoiogs for rapid and safe excavation and 
tunnel supf>ort arc well developed. The B«)ard believes a wealth of expertise and 
experience exists fn>m w hich the IX)F-! could draw — even for this rirNtH>f-a-kind 
facilitv. 



Project Decisions 



The Board has found that imp()rtant project decisions often do not refltvt what 
would be considered standard practice in the underground construction industrv'. 
Tliree areas \vhere improvements wt>uld make the project more efficient arc 

ilisciisscil hiit'tl\ hoiiivv. 

I . C\)niracling practices for the pnijecl are not typical of the industry and di> 
not enct)urage competition or innovation. According to the IX)lv. a cost-plus 
award-lee contract was chosen for the exploratorv facilitv because construction 
goals arc subject to being ov emdden by scientific and technical needs. However, 
the Board remains unconvinced that act>si-plus award- fee contract is the best tv[X' 
of contract I«) K* used for the design and ci>nsinictu>n of the explorali>r> facililN .'' 
The standard industrv contract is the flrni fixed-price contract, which is open to 
competition and awarded to the lowest bidder It is the tnosi common tvpe of 
contract used because it proviiles the grcatesi [vrfoniiance incentives to the 
c«)nlraclor. 

I o help com nil the cost and time required fiirexploratt>r\ facilitv construction, 
the DOT. sluuild develop cost and schedule incentives for cunvnt contracts. ITic 
Board also suggests that the IX)li consider using conventional fixed-pnce or 
cost-plas incentive-fee contracts on future fxmions of the exph>ralor> facility.*' 



25 Vndergniund ttmnnKlum indutln refers Ui lixnc wh«t panicipalc in ihc omvinKliim of pcnnanml 
umicfftnHimt (miIiiic^ (c g h\dn<rlcv-tni. puttiK' ininv|«<ti3tii<n. puhJK uatn v>\icmvi 

26 Qucvliims ilMi ha\c hccn raiNCtl h) fX)L AwiMani So. man Thomas I' < inmihK afymt ihc cfVi^ icik \ 
oT llic DOE't awanl fee awiracu (Cnrmy PaUy. Monday. July 19. I<)<v • 

27 V ■ Ihc 

< ■ ' . " "< 

a pn4ii«ypc ihrniMl icM lacilily 



MMUttcmcM 



rtu: Btiaid als*> bclicxes ihal, In a\i»id i\k pt»lcnlial liligatuHi avMnulcil wnh 
con(ru«.'(iial rclalionshirvN. a ilisputcx review U»,ifil slnuild be uKludcd m all 
con>lriKli»)n conlractN Hicm: h*»ardN ha\c been used mk«.cs>1uII\ lof 20 \cafN in 
Ihc conNiriictn>n iiiduslr> li» reduce the ad\er\anal relalu»n>hi(>N heix^cen nuoci 
and contractor lhal often result Ironi dinenn^: conirau intcrpfciaiu»ns Stai»dard 
contraci lani:uage exists lores' " ' ' pules rcMcw Nurd * 

2 n«e IX )l dep.irted Iroiii the standard pr-wtue in the undergr*»urul convtru*. • 
tit>n ii>dustr> when it deNel»»ped spccilications lor and puiJiascd a new 2^ It 
tunnel honni; machine Hiere is little precedent in the industrv lor iIk owtKr of a 
project purchasing the tunnel Kmng machine that will he used b> a contracts i»n 
a cost-plus basis The typical appr\>;Kh is to «»btain the scr\ices «)f a contra^t«K 
whi> then wnlcs the specifications for and purchases (cii»ipment is owned b> the 
contractor) all of the equipment necessary ti> do the jv>b. iiKludint; the lunrnrl 
b.>nni; machine, its trailinj; i:ear. and an> «Mher clcnR-nts nece^san to supp«»n 
excaxalion -"*' When the job is over, the contr.Kt«»r has the option of sellinj: t»>e 
machine and equipment or usinL' ' 'ther j«>b 

} InjieneraLlhe Board believes that the c\ca\ati»»n of the c\plorat»>r> facilitv 
could be accomplished moK quicklv and at less cost if tin- tunnels and supp..n 
f.h. ilities were ilesicned onlv to HKet the needs »>l exploration ami testinf: Insicail. 
the IM )| appears to have overdesigned the expK'ratorv I.k ilitv I or example, the 
number of alcoves in the f;icilil> m general and in i\\c cimr test area spevilkallv 
are excessive isee discussion, page Tt Hu- portal to portal lt»op is being exca 
V ated w ith larger diaiiwter tunnels than necesvuy lor an cxploratorv f.K ililv . * and 
It appears lhal nunv special, and probablv unnecessarv. features arc in,.luded in 
the IX)r.s specifications for the new 25 ft tunnel bonng machine I'lnallv . utilities 
ami supp'rt f.K. limes are in excess of w hat is required lor this exploration program 
Reducing tfu: complexitv «>f tin' I.Kilily ami of the sur1.Ke and subsurf.Ke Lxilitics 
and utilities will speed program pn»gress and re\luce c»»s«s 

The IS umlergnniml engineering ami consinKtion imlusirv is a world leader 
in (.ksigning. managing, and consmicting nu)»»r umlcrgnHimJ projects If ihe lK)h 
were to adopt applicable tcv,hnt>log> ami aspects of the tJesign. nunagetTK-nl. and 



2H Vt VjIkwmI IU<**vh C .^WKtl. l**-* *«J Amwfc^i Sotwij e4 ( i»il tnpnccr*. IWI 

>> T>K ct«tf««« i« v.i«fi»>k»rl» ».».«»n«j«<*f Cnr ihf prTf.Ymmr ami <UiK <^vtM»n e4 the tOMhrnc \» * 

. •*<• Ski tnMM«n »I1 o«pn|«acM 

W> l» » \\M^t> !«»' kflcr m «hc ScKtrun .4 Fiwrp <N*"n«B XUr*. :V m». the B-ur.l rt„r*^ H. 



NWTRB - Underground Exploration and Testing 



engineering practices used in the indusin, . time and cost savings could be realized 
that could help niinimi/e ptuenlial delays and fa*e money for imptmant scientific 
and technical acliMties. 

To take advantage of this existing experience, the IX)|{ should establish as 
s<H>n as fH)ssible a geivnuinecring board, v^hich ^^oulJ work with the technical 
and inanagcinent stall and rc|>ort lo ^ ucca .Mouniain project managcinenl. I^rgc 
underground construction projects, such as subway systems, the superconducting 
supercollider, and hydroelectnc lacilities. use such getxrngineenng boards. Tliese 
boards are l\picall\ composed ot rour-to-se\en mcmK-rs with expertise in engi- 
neering, constniction. and inanagemenl ol large underground projects Such a 
geoengineenng board could meet angularly with Yucca Mountain Projcvt man- 
agement, stall, and contractors to a'\ leu detailed decisions earh on — whrn ihf\ 
tire first hfini; nunlc. Potential members should be nalionall) recognized and be 
selected based on experience serving on similar boards tor projects ol commen- 
surate complexity." 

The IX)[{ divs at times use technical review panels. Howe\er. these technical 
reviewers traditionally are employed by the IX)H or fimis that are under contract 
to the IX )H. and lhe\ otlen lack adequate expenence on tunneling projects of 
similar complexity . for example, at the recent 'X) percent design re\iew. ot 41 
review team members, all were employees o\ the IK)|-. or under contract tt> the 
IX)E on this program.'- and lew had experience on projcvts using tunnel bonng 
machines. As a result, issues such as those menlit>ned abo\e. which could easil\ 
ha\e been resoKed earl\ in the design stage b\ a ge»K'ngineenng board, were siill 
being evaluated during the ^X) jvrcent design re\iew. 



Ori^anizalioiKil Stnictiirc and Maniiiicmciil ut the Project Ia'ycI 

As the Board staled in Us Sfu-t ml HcfUfrt. the overall ci\ ilian radioactive waste 
managemeni program ((X'RWM) is large and diffuse, .iiul specific responsibili- 
ties are unclear, fhis also is inie at ihe ^ ucca Mouniain projecl le\el where 
numen>us contractor groups have been hired to perlomi engineering and c«»nstruc- 
tion tasks. As «>f November M). IW2. employees Irom 24 organizations were 
working on the project.'* Multiple levels of managemeni aa- in\ol\ed in decisu>n 
making, and responsibilities are unclear. 






Ill il\ niivMon .1 

il MiHllil he .ivkci! 



KB I* mn <X|uip(V«l lo cam out 



32 Prc%cnuti«m ai ihc IX)t:» «J0 Pwvvnl IV»ign Roic«. Jul> 19. 199.3 (TRW 1993) 

33 More iKan I23A 7 full iimr cquivakni contraci cmpknto I tXlH 1992). 



MMMflcncM 



I"hc (KRVVM ho(Wvl Id be ahic in pLwc a icrH»Ml«»i> m ».pcfalii«n h\ 2n|(» 
ihnmjih \cr> lariic iiKfcascs in annual lunduij: Mo\sc\cr. llhrsc iinrcascs \\a\c chM 
tvcn requested b> the IK)I.. nor appn.pnatcil b> Conprevs \MKn iiKreascd 
turiding scented likcl>. or al least plausible, iiuintaininj: a larjte project ..vert»e.id 
and intrastructure iiuy ha\e appeared reavnablc Hov^c\er. coiKeni has been 
expressed during ifHr p.ist >ear b> a numlxi i»l orj:ani/ationN. itKludinp C«»n 
ga-vs."* ub.»ut the high pri»{>»rtii»n ol lunding ^«»inf: to |>n>^rain oxertwad and 
inlrastructure IIk- H*urd is a»ncenied that relativeh sniall ariKHjnls oJ lunding 
remain tor ini|X)rtant s<.ientitk and technical .wtiMties 

n»e pri»bleni t>t lunding alUvatuin has had an ong«>int: effect i»n t»»e programs 
technical activities, lor example, cnini: Lick *il fundinj:. the IX )l tenninatcd 
thermal testing in (i Tunnel in l*)S'> and dela>ed iniHatu.n o( under^'rimnd 
explorati.m and testinj: in 1^2 These delass. tojiether uith \\k IK)I s attemfM 
to iiKCt overly opiimistic prograni deadlines, resulted in an excavation appro.i4.h 
that called fornuiltiple excav atu.n aclis ities from a single |>»rlal and a . ,>mprf^^r,^ 
scfiedule torconductini: imp«»rlant tests. incUuling tests related lotftemul UuRJing 
.Mth»iugh tiK- IX)|-; recently has prop*)sed (and the Htmrd supjxKlst ch;uiging its 
excavation approach, lunding ch»»ices will likely continue i.» allevt site a»arac 
teri/ation efforts I or example, recently the IM)! cited j^tenlial lack .>f funding, 
ralfwr than s»Hind technical analysis, as a p.»ssible reav.n to forgo excavati.w »»( 
the Calico Hills unit And funding ch.>ices may atlcvt nxIko imi>.rtant urKler 
grountl thennal testing vmII K.- reinitiated, .u wlien the contr.xtor xvill begin 
.kcquisition of am>thcr I b*»nng mai.hine 

The Sccrct;ir> of hncrgy h.is recently committetl to undertaking a review of 
the finarKial asp^ts of the civilian raduvKtive waste manageiiKnt pn»gram The 
B*Mrd rcvomiiK-nds that such a review iiKliRJe an evaluation of the cffccis that 
fuiHhng all.vati.in iJcvisions could have t>n pn>grv^s in the site characten/ati.>n 
pn>gram To improve financial .KCHintabtliiv and free .Kkfitional n>..rKy for site 
work ami testing, the B.urd believes that tf>e IK)i: sh^xild ikvclopa m«He efficient 
system f««r nunaging the exploratory f.Kility ikrsign aiKl ci»nstnKtion Ijnphasis 
sh«>uld be place «hi impnning aectHmtability and on establishing incentives for 
c»>M effevtivc and tiii»clv pcrf«Hnunce of the ciHilr.Kt..r> A nx.re efficient man 
agcment strxicture shiHild allow the IX )|: to all.Katc a (^.rt.on of funding currently 
going t.> the pr»>|ccls overhcKl and infrasiructurr t.» the exphiration and testing 
pn>gram I unding all.Kation Jcciskmis sNnild be nvnle in sinh a way as to ensure 
that the m.>inentum of the exploration and icMing prttgram currently under way 
at Yucca MiHintain is nuintaincd 



U I S rrt.fTC*v IWn* iw: I S rrt«pr»v ScAjM^. iw» 



VOAO iw 



NWTRB - l-'ndcrgnHind E-Aplt»raiion and Tcsiinp 



Conclusiims 



1. As mail) ha\c noted, a hiyh percentage dI' funds ha\e been alUvated to 
maintain a large overhead and infrastruclurr. This has left relatively limited 
amounts for site-exploration and testing activities. ITie IX )H cited msufficient 
funds as the reastm ft)r temiinating underground themial testing in i^Sy and \o\ 
the dela\ o\ the design and constmclion acinities lor the evpioratorv facilit) in 
1992. Although underground work ha.s begun, if the IX3H dtxrs not aiUvale moa' 
funding to the expli>ration and testing program, the delass will likel> continue. 

2. Contracting and purchasing practices established by the IX)H do not 
contain incentives for cost-effeclive and timely pcrlbmiance of contractors. 

3. Project management is diffuse, and the decision-making prtvess involves 
many different contractor organizations, multiple levels of management, and 
unclear accountabilitv. 



I 



Recommcndiitiinis 



1. Consistent with practices in the underground construction industry, the 
IX)E: should establish a getK'ngineenng K)ard with four-to-sexen members who 
have expertise in the engineering, construction, and management of large under- 
ground pro|ects. Members should be nationallN recogni/ed and be selected based 
on their previous experience serMng «)n similar Kiards. .Such a geiKMigineenng 
bt)ard would meet regularlv with ^'ucca .Mountain project management, staff, and 
contracli>rN to review detailed decisions early on — a-s they arc being made and 
to pro\idc guidance on improving the management of the design and excavation 
ot I he c\plor.it(>r\ t.n.ilil\ 

2. The IM)i; should develop a more efficient system for managing the 
exploratorv lacility design and construction that contains ga\iter acc«Hintabilit\ 
and incentives for cost-ellective and limeK jxTlomiance o\ the contractors. 

"S. Tile Secrelarv of F-nergy's review ol the linancial as|xvls ol the civilian 
radioactive waste management program should include an evaluation ol the 
program's funding alli>cation decisions. This review should help find ways to 
maximize the funds that are being made available for scientific studies and to 
ensure that the momentum of the exploration and testing program under wa\ at 
Yucca Mountain is maintained. 



Rclcfvnci> 



Rctcivnccs 



American S<icicl> oICimI I nginccfN Icvhnu al Cttiniiiiiicc iinC'iHilrA.iing f*r*.1icc%€i( 
(he l'fx)cr(;riHiiKl lcchniiK>};> Kcscoivh CtiurKil I^MI AitHJing tinJ ktwlunt: 
l)t\IHile\ During CiiiMnulwn Sutietijul f'nutuei ami liuidelinri l*MI Ncvk 

BuM.hcvk. T . I) Wililcf and i NUjh I*W^ l*»r jKiblicaiu»n frj^>»i I au vf SutU In Siiu 
Hratrr Ttily for IhJri'thentutl I'tuinultnutlh'tt III YiHtii W<>«/ir<iirt Jonuor) I'WA 
l*rc|urcii Itw Ihc Antcncan Nuclear SikicU ln(rnutiiHi.il Mt^h I r^rl Kjdi«>jt.ti\c 
Wa>ic Mana(:cnicnl C'lMifcrcncc. April 26- V). hwi l^MrriKr Ijvcrmucc Nalxmal 
I .ah»)rali>r> 

rX)l-; 1988 Silr CluiriHtenrMlum I'Um. !<•/ /// I'o't \ i \U>Jtfifd fn'm SSI. l**S7t 
IXxcmhet IWK WashingUMi. DC 

lX)r; I'WI )h«»ij MiHintiim Siir C'luirm itnuiln"* Pro/rti fiile I /Vii<rt S*anmar\ 
Hr(H>n. VW J. Driiyn l)rinniti(\ Scptcmhcr V IW| Wa^hinglim. DC 

IX)\: |W2 ()( few \f Ctmtrthior hTl. h\ /Vi.|>r.j/»i Arra and l4>talum. harkliMil (nnn 
jt»ini (KK\\M/M&() Pri)>:r.im ManagciiKnt Kcmc%» iitrcliiig. IXrvcinhcr ^. l*W2 
l-iN \ cgaN. NcN.kLi 

IX)I IWV CniHol filth Srhsork StMUSt Mj> 20. I'WA Ij% Vega*. Nojda 

Eneri(\ l)%iil\ "CirambK TakcN Slin.lk. Sccn Need I ik ("hanpCN " M««oda>. Jul> I**. IW3. 
Vol 2I.Nr IVi. pi 

(lAO tCjcncral AcciHinling Officcl IW> SutUar Watle Yumi Ktimnhtin f'ntjrti 
Brhirul Si hrJiilt luul toi inic \Ui)or S< trniifu I mrrtaintiet Rc|*iri In Ihc ("haimun. 
.Su>v«>inmmcc «>n (lean Air AntI Nixleor Kcgulalitwi. Senate ("noimillec nn l.n\i 
nmmcniandPuhhc W.»ks. C,A(VR(I1)9V|24 Ma> IW> pV) 

(icnv;h. K aixil. O/dcmir I'WI f'«Tfnmttimrf'rrJiitiimi>fhtri>uinmdhmi\tUi'r\in 
Yuini \ti>uiil,im WflJrd Tulf\ ffifn Unrtir i utter TrM\ I)rjfl rrpuct. vuhmillcd In 
Frank Han%cn. Sondia Nali«<nal IjUwalKiev SANIWI ^dAx \M\h McchanK* In 
\titulc. C<>liir.Kk> Schmii of Minr%. (N^kJcn. C'4tl«ir>tio 

NalHmal Research ("•hjikiI (Nalinoal Acodcmv of Scierxc^l l'*74 Bftur Cfmiriuitnii 
firr I lutrrnrimruH'imMrut tu>*t Rcpfi «»f the ("»>nimuicc «wi Tunneling Tcchn«»l«>gy 
1974 Waxhinglon. I) (" 

NUTRH March l»W3 WMRftSpciitilRfpttninCtmgmttuuilhrSrrrrlannfEnfrfcy 
March |M*M Wa\hingliKi. DC l' S C»r»*emmcn« iVinting (MHce 

^^^'TRB March 1*>. I'«3 Ixucr lo Scvrrtarv of Hncrg> Ha/el R O I ear> fnwn Nuclear 
WaMc TcvhnKal ReMC^ H<vm) Chairman J«ihn 1: Canlliwi Man.h 25, IWA 

N\\TRB August I W^ Memoramhim lo I ake Bancll. Ailing I>irr<nw of (XRWM frrw 
NiKlear \Va*le Technical ReMcvk B<v»rill.Aevuli\e I^recior William Barnard AuguU 
17. |«W^ 

OCRWM 1993 ESf Cfumgrt tndrr Cnn*tdfratuin Prrv^talMMi hcforclbc N^^TRB 
h> Rohcrt Sandifer. MC.DS Dc* ckipment Manager. Jul> •> 14. 1993 



NWTRB - Underground Explurulutn und TcMing 



RlihCO (KcNiiolds Klcttncal and Hnpinccnng Compan\ I. IW2. J2J )m. .' \t.-4n!.i,n 
Project. 'l.2.M)rillin)iScluthtlf May 16, IW2. Un 'Vci:a>. Nevada 

RSN (Raylhcttn Services Nevada). IWI. tlSt\Ramp UraJteiu. Presenlalitm beftwv ihe 
NWTRH by Bruce Stanley. Ixad Mining l;ngjneer. September IS. IWI . I^s Vegas. 
Nevada. 

RSN. IW2. lixpliiniinn Stiidit's Fdcililv Rrvisftl Title I C'onMrtHtion C<>\t Estimate. 
Repon prepared lor the ^ucca Mountain Site Characleri/ation Pn>ject Office Julv 
IW2. I -as Vegas. Nevada. 

SNL (Sandia National l-aboratoricst IWl h.\plorttti>r\ SiiiJic\ h\uilti\ Allemalixes 
Siiuh: Final Ripori. SAM) '>l (K)2.S September IWI. Albuquerque. N.M. 

Sperry. P. IW.V Letter rept>rt tothe NWTRB on l)()t '^i^^ n,yivn RrviewofESF Design 
I'm kage 2. Apn\ 2^. IW.V 

TRW [environmental Safety Systems. Inc. ((X"RWM Management and Operaimg Con- 
tractor). IW.V WH Desiftn Review - Pesit-n faikanf 2A. July 19. IW.^. Us Vegas. 
Nevada. 

U.S. Conga'ss Mouse. 1W2. Cimjenmc Report on Makina Appropriations for A-.'nrrjjx 
an J Water Development for the Fiscal Year Endina September 30, I W.I. and foi 
Other Puqtoses. I()2d Cong.. 2d Sess.. .September I.S. 1992. H Rept 102-866; pXO 

U.S. Congress Senate. 1*>*>.^ Committee Report on the I ner\;\ and Wiiler Dc\ 
/VV'r«'/'nwnV»««j7/. /w-/ I O.^d Cong. I si Sess.. .September I '»♦'' S Kipi 
pl28. 

Wilder. O. I9*;.V Waste Package Environment Thermal Tests. Presentation to the Nuclear 
Waste Technical Review Board, tull Board meeting on Tliennal i «<ading The 
Integration ol Science and I'ngmeenng. Julv 14. I W.V Otficial transcripts 

^MIH) (Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Office). \^\ . Record Memoran- 
dum: Risk/Henefil .Analysis of .Mternative Stratefties for Characlerizinfi the Calico 
Hills Unit at Yucca Mountain. Rev. () Januarv 1991. 1^-is Vegas. Nevada 

^Ml"*) Scplemlx-r l'>*>2 Prehminan Test PItinnint: Paikai;e for Supfxtrt of Pre liilr II 
Dcsitin .Studu's. Planned Exploralors Studies Facilin T'^i^ ^ "» A\ i (> K.pirinlvr 
1992. l.as Vegas. Nevada 

YMPO. Nt»ventber 1992. Draft Final Refhtn: Integrated Test Evaliiatum Framework foi 
Prioriti.-ini; Te\l\ for the Yumi .Mountain Site Characterization Project ■ Referent < 
SotelnHik. November 12. I*W2 Us Vegas. Nevada 

I()CI"R W)(C«Kle of Federal Regulations! IW.V Title 10. Energs V.,n Wl ••I1isi>..v.il ot 
High I -ev el Radituctive Wastes in CJeologic Rcposit»>nes." 



Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board 

1 1(H) \S iKon Binile\;iril. Suite ^10 

Arlington. Virginia 222(W 

Tel: (703) 235-4473